Wild Turkey 81 Proof

Posted 14 March 2018 by Matt / In Wild Turkey
The Dramble's tasting notes for Wild Turkey 81 Proof

Bottle Name: Wild Turkey 81 Proof

ABV: 40.5%
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Region: USA

Wild Turkey 81 Proof replaced a previous 80 Proof version around 6/7 years ago as the entry-level bottling in the distillery’s range. I’ve read online that this is not just a difference of 0.5% ABV to the liquid, but that the newer 81 Proof bottling is aged for an additional 2-4 years over its predecessor. Whether this is true of not, it’s not clearly stated on the label – and 81 sounds a lot more ‘in step’ with the next whiskey in the series, the 101 Proof, so perhaps there’s a combination of factors in play here – older liquid and some consistent brand identity.

The bottling comes from the distillery’s standard bourbon mashbill of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.

Nose: Gentle and sweet typical bourbon flavours – caramel, vanilla, and corn. There’s some additional aromas here – sugar coated apples, butter, sawdust and PVA wood glue. It’s all quite light and pretty inoffensive.

Taste: All the flavours are here – caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and toasted corn – but they’re a little washed out in an underpowered arrival that delivers thinly. As with the nose, it’s all rather gentle, but does have some additional interesting flavours on the mid-palate: oranges and pear, freshly sawn wood planking, honey and some every so slight salinity. In the back palate, there’s still a touch of youthfulness, not quite ‘burn’, but certainly a little raw.

Finish: Short to medium and delivering vanilla, caramel and sweet corn flavours.

Wild Turkey 81 Proof is a perfectly acceptable entry-level bottling from the distillery. It’s well priced within its category and as such most people would not have a problem using this with a mixer – and that’s what I believe it’s best for. All the typical bourbon flavours are present and correct, but they’re muted and relatively watery compared to what you might think of a big-hitting bourbon. As such, this would work well in a mixed drink, bringing the bourbon flavour, but not overpowering any other ingredients with a huge ABV. Available currently from Master of Malt for £22.75.

Score: 76/100

Master of Malt
Thank you for adding your link. We will review your link within 48 hours.



Scotland (623)
Aberfeldy (8)
Aberlour (11)
Ardbeg (11)
Ardmore (6)
Arran (24)
Auchroisk (3)
Aultmore (6)
Balblair (10)
Balmenach (2)
Balvenie (9)
Ben Nevis (2)
BenRiach (6)
Benrinnes (6)
Benromach (7)
Bladnoch (5)
Bowmore (10)
Braeval (1)
Cambus (2)
Caol Ila (19)
Cardhu (1)
Clynelish (6)
Daftmill (1)
Dailuaine (4)
Dalmore (13)
Deanston (3)
Dufftown (2)
Dumbarton (1)
Edenmill (1)
Edradour (5)
Girvan (1)
Glen Moray (13)
Glen Ord (1)
Glengoyne (9)
Glengyle (3)
Glenlivet (10)
Hazelburn (2)
Inchgower (1)
Kilchoman (4)
Knockando (1)
Knockdhu (2)
Lagavulin (3)
Laphroaig (16)
Linkwood (5)
Lochnagar (1)
Longmorn (7)
Longrow (3)
Macallan (9)
Macduff (1)
Mortlach (10)
Oban (3)
Scapa (1)
Speyburn (5)
Talisker (6)
Tamdhu (2)
Teaninich (3)
Tobermory (21)
Tomatin (8)
Tomintoul (2)
Tormore (4)
Wolfburn (3)
Canada (3)
Europe (15)
Cotswolds (2)
Langatun (1)
Mackmyra (8)
Penderyn (1)
Ireland (21)
Bushmills (5)
Midleton (8)
Teeling (3)
Tullamore (1)
Japan (31)
Chichibu (6)
Chita (1)
Eigashima (1)
Hakushu (2)
Yamazaki (2)
Yoichi (2)
Rest of the World (2)
Paul John (1)
Taiwan (6)
King Car (5)
Nantou (1)
USA (21)
Bernheim (2)